Against the backdrop of the forecast that the global population is expected to rise to about 9 billion by 2040 from 8billion in 2022 and António Guterres, United Nations, Secretary-General’s statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Egypt, in 2022, that the earth was fast approaching tipping point that will make climate chaos irreversible, stakeholders and experts have called for urgent collaboration between the African governments and private sector to accelerate the adaptation of climate change action.
Stakeholders and panelists at the PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC webinar with the theme: Post-COP27: Outcomes and next step, discussed the implications of the critical outcomes of COP-27 on private sector organizations in Nigeria and Ghana.
EnergyDay gathered that some of the critical outcomes of COP27 include climate adaptation according to its purpose; a plan to end deforestation; a decrease in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, and loss and damage funding, which involves the request by developing countries for wealthy countries to contribute through financial assistance for mitigation against the climate crisis, especially in Africa, that contribute the least to climate change.
The panelists who highlighted the private sector’s role in implementing climate change action in Nigeria and Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa at large, insisted that Africa needs a clear, time-bound roadmap reflective of the scale and urgency to mitigate the climate challenge.
According to them, the collaboration between governments and private sector players must deliver effective continental arrangements for financing green manufacturing. They urged the private sector to be committed to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles that unlock opportunities for finance and sustainable investment.
Dr. Mumtaqa Umar-Sadiq, Energy Transition Office, said that the private sector has the obligation of imbibing the benefit of adjusting to the vagaries of the climate system.
According to him, the private sector is the major driver of the government’s policy actions on climate change, insisting on their role in operationalising the climate change act and establishing the Government and National Council of Climate Change (NCCC).
He disclosed that the private sector would attract serious penalty failure to adjust and comply with the Government’s policy drive.
Highlighting some of the benefits of compliance, Umar-Sadiq said that the private sector has the guarantee of realising the inherent benefit of sustainability development, especially on global environmental, social, and economic.
He also said the private sector has access to making a better profit and generating additional funding through climate finance.
Dr. Daniel Tutu Benefoh, Acting Director, Climate Change Unit, Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, said that the Government shares collaborative responsibility with the private sector in efforts to implement climate actions, especially on adoption.
According to him, the issue is not for the government to pass the bulk of adaptation on the private sector alone, we all share common resources (the air we breathe) that support our economy, livelihoods, and existence.
He said, “The private sector plays a significant role in realisation of climate actions, the government cannot do it alone. In Ghana, climate adaptation is not about reforming our businesses to take advantage of the benefits of climate change, we have realised that the government has the primary responsibility of using resources within to deal with the climate challenges.
He said a certain percentage of the government’s annual budget must be committed to green financing, adding that the resources must be galvanized to support the citizens, who are most susceptible to the climate crisis.
Eng. Oscar Amonoo-Neizer, Executive Secretary, Energy Commission (Ghana) said that the private sector helps the government mop up innovative financing is required to speed up the adoption and implementation of climate change actions.
According to him, Africa is not doing enough to access national or transnational financing (drawn from public, private and alternative sources of financing) that seeks to support mitigation and adaptation action of climate change.
He said, “The private sector should be innovating strategies on how to leverage on these funds in support of Africa’s social, economic and political development.
“It is also critical for us to harness the different skill-set that is required to attract innovative financing and concessionary loans for climate actions. African government and private sectors should be building a pipeline of innovative bankable projects key to raising the interest of potential funders.
Some of the innovative strategies, according to him, include the domestic approach to different climate projects capable of unlocking concessionary loans.
“We need to scale up renewable energy investment, releasing of country counterpart funding, and policy actions enabling the commercial banks to partner with private sector developers in accelerating solar housing through pan-Africa fast-tracked climate financing instruments e.g African Development Bank.
Mohammed Wakil, Country Representative, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, (GEAPP), said that the government should focus more on forming partnerships with the private sector on adaptation climate actions and mitigation of climate change.
He said, ” The government should focus on providing the enabling environment to strengthen the private sector’s participation in the energy transition.
“Government should also de-risk climate change financing for the private sector through the provision of blended finance.
Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Board Member International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) challenged the African government to introduce capacity development programmes for the private sector to understand adaptation.
She however charged the private sector to be committed to sustainability disclosure in their financial statement.
This, according to her, will make domestic action on the comparability of domestic actions and mitigation much easier. She added that this is important for the stability, and efficiency of international climate agreements.
She also urged the private sector to take advantage of the government’s incentive to the carbon tax, such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which is part of cost-effective approaches toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Rukaiya El- Rufai, Partner, PwC, Sustainable & Climate Change leaders, who moderated the webinar, in her remark, charged the private sector to be dedicated to green manufacturing, which entails the renewal of production processes and the establishment of environmentally-friendly operations within the manufacturing field.
Rukaiya further noted that green manufacturing will strengthen and accelerate Africa’s power pool and support the continental energy transformation through significant renewable energy sources.